by John Dodd

Gentlepeople, someone asked for a piece of fiction on Senti and Intruder, someone else tagged something onto that one and asked for it from her point of view. I will apologise in advance for this one, for I have no concept of the womans point of view, this is the best I could come up with.

Its early evening, you can see the sun from here, its one of the only points on Mort that you can see it from. I'm in the high tower of Head Office, standing on the balcony outside, the rain does not reach here, the cloud cover is below me, like a blanket of silk thrown over rubbish in an alleyway. The sun is warm on my face as I hear footsteps behind me. I know who it is before I turn around, the footsteps give him away even before he speaks.

"Senti?" His voice is soft, almost childlike, he knows what he has done, he knows what my response will be.

I turn, my hair flowing in the wind, looking up into his eyes.


He is standing calmly in front of me, his arms by his sides, the only sign of tension in him is his hands, clenched so tight that the knuckles are drained of blood. His eyes are focused on me, the edge of madness is held there, the blue of his eyes is almost completely obscured by the pupils.

I sigh inwardly, he'll never make the first move, it would be (in his eyes) a sign of weakness.

"So, another for the tally?" I whisper.

He looks down, the shame radiates from him like a beacon "I didn't mean for her to die." he mumbles, his head comes back up, desperately trying to make me believe.

"Really?" I force compassion into my tone "So what did you expect her to do?"

"I…." His voice trails off "I wanted to….."

I know what he's trying to say, he's trying to capture something he lost, this happens at least once a month, he sees someone who reminds him of something, and sets out to make them his, but whether by accident or design, they all end up dead. It's down to me to cover this up every time. If Slayer were to find out what he does, what madness is contained within this killing machine, he would surely take steps to take care of it, and I cannot have that, I cannot lose this man. Not yet, not like that.

I raise my arms to him as a mother might to her wayward child, he stumbles forwards, head bowed, and rests his head on my shoulder, his arms going around me. I can feel the soft sobbing begin and his arms tense around me. I know what he is capable of doing, I have seen him throw vehicles with his bare hands, the danger of my situation could not be clearer if a sign was in front of me. The pain starts moments after he wraps his arms around me.

The sobbing intensifies as he lets go of the frustration inside him, his arms continues to tighten, I can feel his shoulders bunch as the muscles begin to lock up. My chest is beginning to ache, my back is compressing, I feel my arms going limp as the circulation in them is cut off, he knows what he is doing, this happens every time, I can feel the air being forced out of me as he begins to crush me to him.

"N-no" I gasp out with the last air in my lungs.

He hears, I know he does, but still the grip stays, the world begins to spin, darkness engulfs me briefly and then the pressure is gone. I am limp in his arms as he lays me down, I can faintly hear the pleas beginning, and I know what the words are, even though at this point my body cannot understand what he is saying. Full consciousness returns and I feel his tears on my face as the words become clear.

"…Live, please live, don't die, don't leave me, Live…."

He goes on, a litany of prayers that he speaks every time he does this, I imagine that his victims corpses hear the same thing when he is finished with them, they never know to tell him to stop, and that is what finishes them in the end.

I open my eyes and look up to him, he is laid above me, supported by his elbows, his face, framed by that mane of hair, looking down on me with eyes wet with tears, he sees me breathe and the prayers stop.

"You can't keep doing this." I whisper to him.

He pauses to wipe away his tears from my face "I know." His voice is controlled again, the madness banished for a short time. We both know this will happen again, there is nothing so sure as that.

"I just want…" he pauses again, and smiles gently, "you know what I want." he looks down over my body, he breathes over my mouth as he speaks, the warmth a reminder to me of something we both shared, once.

I try to smile back at him as I run my hand over his arm, I feel the muscles, like organic diamonds, flex and move under my fingers. He reaches down to my face and kisses me gently, I try to hold him there, to keep his madness here with me, to keep him safe, to preserve whatever is left of the man he once was. I feel him move backwards slowly, I might as well be trying to stop salvation tower falling. He moves his hand down my body, gently caressing me.

I try not to react to that, but my body betrays me, my breathing shortens, I can feel my pupils dilating, my nipples grow hard under his fingers. He knows what he is doing, he knows that I cannot resist him, no woman can, he knows I would gladly die for him, it is his curse, many would not see it as such, but he knows better. I move my legs over his thighs, feeling the muscles tense there as well.

"Take me." I moan into his open lips "I can't stop you, you know that."

He smiles again, the smile is a sad one this time, he knows he's gone too far this time. He rises up from me and stands, gently lifting me to my feet.

"Forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from Slayer, for thine is the power…"

I've heard it before, its some sort of ritual phrase from where he came from, he never speaks of where he came from, but I remember from a long time ago. When we first created the stormers and this man placed himself in my care, and I saw things that no other creature has ever seen. Glimpses of a young woman, her corpse lying bloodlessly at his feet, of others like him, and of happier times, I wonder what it must be like to hold an eternity of memory, an eternity of misery and warfare, and to hold it all in one place.

He turns and makes to leave; I put one hand on his shoulder.

"Don't go." I murmur "Stay with me, if only for a little while, let me take the pain away."

I feel his shoulders tighten, he doesn't turn back.

"No, you can't replace her, no one can, remember?"

I nod silently, a single tear winding down my cheek "But surely…"

"NO." he does not shout, but the word is delivered with an unintended vehemence "I took you once, remember?"

"How could I forget?" I sob gently, "how could anyone?"

His shoulders relax momentarily "I can't save you again like last time, you would die."

I know that, I have always known that. "But it might give you peace, if only for a short time."

His head bows slowly and his hand reaches up to rest on mine, his voice echoes quietly across the short distance between us. "Nothing you have ever done was unforgivable, and no matter what you think, offering your life is a more noble thing than you would believe possible, the man you think you see before you is not all he appears, you think you understand what I am, you are wrong."

"But I've seen everything about you, I've seen all your memories, all your dreams."

He turns back to me, looking directly into my eyes; I let go of his shoulder, unable to place what I see there.

"No" he smiles again, there is something in the smile this time, something I do not understand. "you haven't."


He raises one finger to my lips, pressing gently and shaking his head "No." He repeats, looking deeper into my eyes, and something shifts at the back of his eyes, my mind rebels with the contradictions of what I see there.

"You haven't. Pray that you never do."

He turns and pads away with the grace of a panther stalking its prey, and I cannot move to stop him. I will never understand what was in his eyes, he's seen stars being born and galaxies dying, he has seen the beginning and the end, how can I hope to understand him now. But I will always remember…